Now that you know how to find the perfect bunch of rhubarb, there are a few things you’ll want to remember so it stays as fresh as the day you brought it home. Cut off the top and bottom of the stem first, removing any fibrous strands from the root upwards, as you might with celery. Also don’t forget to remove leaves if they haven’t already been removed. If you don’t plan to use it within a few days, seal the washed and cut rhubarb in a wrapper or container and store it in your freezer for up to three months before it goes bad (via food network† This process will allow you to keep your rhubarb tasty until you know what to do with it. Keep in mind that frozen rhubarb will hold more water once thawed, so be sure to drain excess moisture.
As for cooking with rhubarb, know that it is best when it is sweetened and balanced with other ingredients, as the raw form is extremely acidic. With a texture reminiscent of celery, cooking will also soften the crispy stalks. In addition to adding savory flavor, rhubarb adds a bright burst of color to any dish — think sweets like breads and galettes or savory recipes with pickled rhubarb. Whether you’re slicing, dicing, baking or sautéing it, you can rest assured that you now know exactly what to look for when buying rhubarb for any recipe.